So people, we continue our series on the top things business look in a mobile device and today we’re discussing number 3 on the list with security.
What do we mean by Security?
Security has been a big thing in IT generally for many years, but be honest now, how many of you worry about viruses and Trojan horses on your mobile device? Exactly, security in the personal world may be taken for granted as hackers have continued to focus on servers, however mobile device security is now very topical and it has to be addressed. This subject raised a lot of areas with the people we spoke to so I’ve tried to summarise the main ones below
General OS security
This was the area most people talked about and was simply about how secure the mobile operating system was. In the business world this is probably the number 1 reason Windows Mobile is still such a strong option as it’s mature (in it’s 70’s some world say!), string, well put together and supported. IOS is also very secure but businesses also feel very locked in to the Apple ecosystem, it’s almost claustrophobic to some and the hardware isn’t cheap and becomes unsupported very quickly. Android is the new kid on the block and despite v4.0 onwards really being quite secure now, it’s taking time for businesses to trust it fully. The recent security problem with
Multiple Operating Systems
Whilst it’s largely about Windows Mobile, Windows Phone, IOS and Android, there are in fact 7 or 8 mobile OS’s that I can think of straight off the bat but with more coming every day businesses have to make a decision on where they go and then they have to keep people skilled up on them to ensure they use their mobile kit securely. The fact is that these days developers and IT staff are having to become hybrid “Jack of all trade” types to stay employable and this doesn’t bode well for security.
In the 80’s life was great. Michael Jackson was still bringing out great tunes, but more importantly everyone’s PC’s were all in 1 place and IT knew where they stood and kept everything secure. Now your business data and equipment could be anywhere and it’s too costly to support in person so there are huge challenges to ensure data, property and the security of us people is kept to the maximum. MDM software is now a must and applications must be controlled and crafted so they are secure talking over multiple network protocols.
Your end users will lose kit, it will get stolen and some will even try to steal it or sabotage their mobile devices themselves. After all we’re all human, and some of us are little devils! How do you stop this when you don’t know where the user is, you don’t know where the hardware is, what network they are using to connect and indeed if you can reach them at all?
One of the things that kept coming up about Apple and Google Android in particular was that you’re never that sure what you’re signing up to with them, especially on consumer grade smartphones and tablets, and how much of your data they might be pinching. Its one thing Google knowing what my web browsing and GPS habits are, but what if these are key USP’s or critical data factors for your business that might even put you at risk? Do you really trust Apple or Google with this data?
Back end integration
This was a big headache for the businesses we spoke to and where we get engaged a lot with them. I’m a Microsoft guy first and foremost. I’m actually hybrid now able to program in Android, IOS, .NET, HTML5 and quite a few other technologies so it puts me in a position where I understand integration. If you build a Microsoft Windows Mobile solutions and integrate it into a Microsoft server back-end then you’re going to largely have a lot of fun watching things work and stay working. However the reality is that we need to sync with many different technologies these days and the challenge is to find people who can do it well and then to do it well!
There were many other topics but these were the main ones I could pick out, the key thing to take from this as a business is to ensure that you understand the technology you have chosen to run your mobile solution, understand the areas that could create security issues for your people, applications and process and to make sure you engage the right resources to ensure it’s done right. This way your business will fly unhindered.
As always comments welcomed!